Sunday, February 22, 2015

The mother of Trayvon Martin speaks in Cleveland with support from Samaria Rice, who is the mother of Tamir Rice, community activists to picket the first district Cleveland police station today, February 22, at 4 pm, followed by a 6 pm vigil at the Cudell Recreation Center...By Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's leader in Black digital news

Sybrina Fulton (left), the mother of slain teen Trayvon Martin, and Samaria Rice,
the mother of slain 12-year old Clevelandander Tamir Rice, whom Cleveland police shot dead late last year for sporting a toy pellet gun at a public park on the city's largely White west side.
By Kathy Wray Coleman, editor-in-chief, Cleveland Urban News.Com, and the Kathy Wray Coleman Online News, Ohio's most read digital Black newspaper and newspaper blog. Tel: (216) 659-0473.  Coleman is a community activist and 21-year investigative journalist who trained for 17 years at the Call and Post Newspaper in Cleveland, Ohio. ( / (
Trayvon Martin (left) and his killer George Zimmerman

Twelve-year-old Tamir Rice

CLEVELAND, Ohio -The mother of slain 17-year-old Florida teen Trayvon Martin spoke to a capacity audience on Saturday at the  Cleveland Main Library with support from community activists and families of victims of police killings, including Samaria Rice, the mother of slain 12-year-old Tamir Rice.(Editor's note: Rice was gunned down by Cleveland police late last year for sporting a toy pellet gun at a public park on the city's largely White west side. A community vigil (WKYC Channel 3)in his honor will be held with the Tamir Rice family today, February 22, at 6 pm at the Cudell Recreation Center where he was shot and killed three months ago. A 4 pm rally spearheaded by the grassroots groups Puncture the Silence and Revolution Books is also scheduled for today in Cleveland at the first district police station).

The unarmed Martin, who was Black,  was shot and killed in a Florida suburb by volunteer neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, who is White, the third anniversary of his death of which is on February 28.

 A White jury acquitted Zimmerman of the killing, though prosecutors had refused to push for criminal charges until Civil Rights leaders like the Rev. Al Sharpton objected, and protesters across the country demanded justice.

"You need to get involved and you need to continue to be involved," Trayvon's mother Sybrina Fulton said. "You don't want to wait until it happens to someone in your family."

"You know that slip you get in the mail for jury duty? We need you." said Fulton, who has founded the Trayvon Martin Foundation to assist bereaved mothers whose deceased children were victims of arbitrary violence by police and others.

Margaret Bernstein, director of advocacy and community initiatives for WKYC Channel 3, was the moderator for the Black History Month program, an event sponsored by the library and its director Felton Thomas Jr., who is Black.

Cleveland Urban News.Com, Ohio's most read digital Black newspaper, asked Fulton the status of possible federal charges against Zimmerman and Fulton told the audience that the U.S. Department of Justice is still investigating, and that Attorney General Eric Holder will issue a decision "any-day." (Editor's note: Holder determined on February 24 that no federal charges will be issued by his office because race purportedly was not a factor in Martin's killing, a posture community activist and a host of other disagree with).

Responding to a question by Cleveland Urban News.Com on whether she supports the concept by the late Malcom X of seeking justice by any means necessary or the non-violent approach to activism perpetuated by slain Civil Rights leader the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Fulton said that she supports King's approach.

Rioting and burning buildings to the ground as occurred following a controversial decision  by a largely White Grand Jury not to indict White former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for gunning down 18-year-0ld unarmed Black teen Michael Brown are not the best solutions in seeking to eradicate racism and systemic injustices against the Black community, Fulton said.

Akron Attorney Walter Madison, one of the attorneys representing the Rice family in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the city of Cleveland, police and a host of other defendants, told Cleveland Urban News.Com that Saturday's event, in spite of freeing temperatures and snow fall throughout the day, was well done, and well attended.

"It was a beautiful combination of interest and community on a crappy day," said Madison.

The Cleveland Public Library was founded in 1869 and today it has 27 branches throughout the largely Black major American city, which is led by Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, the city's third Black mayor. ( / (